Happy 4th of July folks !! How was your extended weekend? Mine was pretty eventful with get together and me spending a good share of my time, doing my therapeutic cooking 🙂 For today, i am bringing a pasta dish i prepared for my last get together and it was a real hit with the crowd. If you are thinking of a pasta dish for your celebration dinners, this could be a great choice !! So, lets get cooking and make some Creamy Tomato Basil Capellini.
I love pasta. It is almost a staple at my house. If we are not eating Indian food, we are most likely enjoying a comfort bowl of pasta. I love to experiment with pasta sauces. Few of my favorites are Onion Mushroom Alfredo Pasta, Brown butter Lemon pepper pasta and my cold pasta salad with Yogurt Sauce. For today, i am going to be working with tomatoes and making a simple sauce with robust flavours.
I usually like to play with the flavours when it comes to pasta sauces. Pasta for me is like a blank canvas which can be painted in many flavours and colors. Have you tried my Indian flavour inspired Mushroom Butter Masala Pasta? I took inspiration from the famous chicken butter masala and made a version which has all the richness and the flavour minus the crazy calories !!That pasta was such a hit with my family and friends that i have made it many times and it is always amazing !! It got me hooked to tomato sauces for pasta and this time i am taking the inspiration from a caprese salad for my tomato sauce. So, lets get cooking !!
Creamy tomato Basil Capellini
- 500 gms of dry Capellini pasta ( i used capellini but you can use any sort of pasta that works well with thin sauces)
- 1 tablespoon oil (i used Olive oil)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 large fresh tomatoes (finely chopped)/ 1 14oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (adds a rich red color to the sauce)
- 1/2 cup sweet basil
- 2 tablespoons Neufchatel/ cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk ( i used skim milk)
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese for garnishing
We would cook the sauce and boil the pasta simultaneously in 2 separate pans.
- Take a pan and add enough water to boil the capellini pasta. Once the water boils, add in the pasta and cook till al-dente (follow the instructions on the pack). Drain the pasta once ready and add 1 teaspoon of oil in it. Mix and keep aside. Adding oil helps in keeping the pasta from sticking together.
- Meanwhile, take a pan and add oil to it. Heat it up. Once the oil is hot, add in the chopped onions and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes or till the onions are translucent. Now, add in the chopped tomatoes, salt, black pepper and sweet basil. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes. The tomatoes will get soft and mushy.
- Now, add in the neufchatel/cream cheese and milk. Mix well and let it cook for 2 more minutes or till the cream cheese melts and mixes with the sauce. The sauce is now ready.
- Carefully, add in the cooked capellini and toss around to coat the sauce well. Sprinkle black pepper on top as needed. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and chopped sweet basil. Serve warm.
How gorgeous is that !! The sauce is creamy and dreamy in the real sense. It took me just 20 minutes to get the food on the table and believe me, we took less than 5 minutes to finish it all 🙂 I barely managed to click some pictures for this post ! The sweet basil adds a very aromatic flavour to this pasta and the semi sweet tomato sauce compliments it well. The pasta was so appreciated by my family that i ended up making the following day too and had some leftovers from that day which i enjoyed today 🙂 This dish tastes great the next day a the flavours mature, so you can plan ahead and make it in advance as well 🙂